May 18, 2012
Electricity theft prevention campaign gaining momentum,says EskomBack
Agriculture|Engineering|Africa|Copper|Eskom|Industrial|Primedia|PROJECT|Proudly South African|Africa|Electricity|Electricity Thieves|Energy|Energy Losses Management Programme National Project Sponsor|Service|Brian Dames|Power|Cables|SMS
© Reuse this
The campaign, which is a partnership between Eskom, Proudly South African, Business Against Crime South Africa, the South African Local Government Association, Business Unity South Africa and Primedia Crime Line, is aimed at involving the public in assisting in the effort to curb electricity theft.
“We are pleased with the response and support we have received. South Africans are listening and responding. Electricity thieves should take note and be aware that they are being watched by their communities,” says Eskom energy losses management programme national project sponsor Maboe Maphaka.
Further, he notes that, as the campaign gains momentum, more organisations are expected to pledge their support.
He adds that organisations such as AgriSA, the Association of Municipal Electricity Under-takings of Southern Africa, the South African Revenue Protection Association, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) have expressed their support for Operation Khanyisa.
Maphaka urges all South Africans to stand up for the legal, safe and efficient use of electricity, stating that the responsible use of electricity and the combating of electricity theft are the responsibility of every South African.
He stresses that electricity theft is not limited to townships and impacts greatly on the cost of electricity, which affects every South African.
Audits conducted by Eskom, through its Energy Losses Management Programme, in the past few years, revealed that only about one-third of energy and revenue losses through theft such as meter tampering, bypasses and illegal connections can be attributed to residential cus-tomers, while about two-thirds is attributable to business, agriculture and other nonresidential sector customers.
Maphaka stresses that elec-tricity theft is a crime perpetrated by people from all socioeconomic groups. Participants range from households running illegal connections to large industrial companies bypassing meters. This results in lost revenues running into millions of rands.
He asserts that good partnerships with all sectors of business, as well as with the public, will ensure the success of Operation Khanyisa.
The short-term goal of the campaign is to see South Africans use electricity legally, safely and efficiently. In the long term, the partner organisations hope to change the behaviour of citizens to have respect for electricity.
Maphaka encourages the public to send anonymous tip-offs to the Primedia Crime Line by means of SMS to 32211 or the Eskom Crime Reporting Line 0800 11 27 22.
Further, he points out that Eskom is working with the relevant authorities to ensure that the Electricity Act is amended and thieves are prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
In October 2010, Engineering News quoted Eskom CEO Brian Dames as saying that legislation and regulatory measures had to be strengthened to allow for the prosecution of those who commit crimes such as stealing electricity and stealing copper cables.
At the time, he said courts often treated such crimes as petty crimes. Maphaka stresses that there seems to be a shift in the right direction and it is encouraging to see some of the stiff sentences handed down by the courts.
“However, if we are to make a significant change in people’s behaviour around electricity theft, the courts must continue to hand down these types of sentences to reinforce the message that electricity theft is a crime and those who are caught will be dealt with accordingly.”
To ensure that sustainability, Eskom has held workshops in various regions, where law enforcement agencies, such as the SAPS, the NPA and the direc-tor of Public Prosecutions, are trained to assist Eskom and the municipalities in strengthening the cases against those who are caught stealing electricity. These workshops are likely to bear fruit.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
The Democratic Alliance on Tuesday called on Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa to clarify Eskom's latest threat of further rolling blackouts. Spokesperson on public enterprises Natasha Michael said Ramaphosa had to disclose the reason four generators stopped working...
South Africa asked on Friday for bidders to submit proposals to build coal-fired power plants as part of a string of initiatives launched this week aimed at ending chronic electricity shortages. Bidders will need to pay a nonrefundable R200 000 rand ($17 000) fee...
Financial problems at South Africa's Eskom have pushed the governing ANC to look into selling stakes in state companies to free up funds to update the utility and ease power blackouts. President Jacob Zuma's African National Congress has long been reluctant to sell...
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
This Week's Magazine
South Africa remains an important manufacturing and export platform for Ford Motor Company, says executive chairperson Bill Ford. However, he adds that other countries on the continent are “becoming interesting”, and that the US carmaker is casting its net wider for...
Germany’s Max-Planck-Society (MPG) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPlfR) are investing €11-million (about R150-million) into South Africa’s MeerKAT radio telescope array programme. The money will be used to design, build and install S-band radio...
Infrastructure spend in sub-Saharan Africa will grow from $70-billion in 2013 to $180-billion by 2025, says PwC capital projects and infrastructure Africa leader Jonathan Cawood. This is one of the findings of PwC’s Capital Projects & Infrastructure report on East...
Private-owned defence and aerospace manufacturer Paramount Group and the Ichikowitz Family Foundation unveiled its Anti-Poaching Skills and K9 Training Academy in Magaliesburg last month.
The inclusion of Bluetooth to provide sub-three meter accuracy and heightened functionality for users is one of the ways to change existing wireless networks into engagement networks. An engagement network differs from common wireless networks in that it enables the...